Many previous recipients of the prestigious Ruth DeYoung Kohler (RDK) Scholarship for Artistic Excellence have gone on to great achievements in their craft. An award that seeks to support aspiring professional artists, the RDK Scholarship has been given to students pursuing artistic endeavors as diverse as: ballet, fashion design, creative writing (YA fiction), acting/theater, cinematography, painting, works on paper, instrumental and vocal performance, and even lutherie (the craft of stringed instrument construction and repair). Below are a few examples that are intended to inspire current students who may be considering applying for the RDK Scholarship, and to highlight just a few of the many accomplishments of our RDK recipients.
2022 - Annika Nelson, Plymouth High School
Annika Nelson is a talented young guitarist. She is driven and hard-working with a dream of becoming a classical guitarist. Her maturity and diligence in her guitar practice have taken her performance to a new level, resulting in top prizes at several guitar competitions. Annika is currently attending the Peck School of Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to study classical guitar performance and music education with the career goal of becoming a professor of music at the university level.
2022 - Baxter Salzwedel, Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah High School
Baxter has a high level of artistic talent and is diligent in expressing his artistic abilities. He is already an entrepreneur, having started his Mad Patcher clothing business while in high school. The Mad Patcher ties in three of Baxter’s passions. His ability to express his artistic creativity through fashion, his desire to help others, and his responsibility to make a positive impact on the environment.
2022 - Sherahan Tahiri, Kohler High School
Sherahan is driven and invested in her writing and career goals. She demonstrates her creativity and natural talents through her writing; creating stories, characters and scenery. Sherahan is currently attending the Dodge College of Film and Media at Chapman University to study television writing and production. Her career goal is to become a television writer.
2021 - Camille Staats, Etude High School
Camille is an exceptional student who has been described as having “the potential to transform the arts and community through the arts.” Through her experiences as a Maker Break educator, Camille has already positively contributed to the Sheboygan community. Her leadership and mentorship led to a model for how Maker education can look in Sheboygan and across the country. Her drive to grow and learn how her future lies in dance and choreography is full of promise. Camille is attending the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
2021 - Elliot Straub, Plymouth High School
A participant in both visual and performing arts in school, Elliot balances a love for art with academics and graduated in the National Honor Society, Magna Cum Laude. Believing that art is universal and it not only transcends the barriers of language, race, gender, and culture, he strives to be a voice for the underrepresented through media and literature. Elliot is attending Columbia College in Chicago to study Illustration.
2020 - Miguel Guevera, Etude High School
Miguel Guevara is a gifted guitarist. His body of work, which included pieces that he composed as well as played, impressed our scholarship committee with its intricate and romantic sound. The committee believes Miguel’s energy and passion for playing and composing will lead him to a future that is full of promise. Guevara will attend the University of Madison with a major in music. He aspires to be a composer.
2020 - Leonardo Viglietti, North High School
Leonardo Viglietti is an accomplished flautist. Classical music has inspired Viglietti, and he is hopeful that through his flute performances, he will introduce others to the power of classical music. Viglietti will attend University of Michigan School of Music with a major in music performance. He aspires to play in a professional orchestra.
2019 - Clara Montes, Kohler High School
Clara captivated our scholarship committee with her violin performance. She will attend Boston University, with a double major in music performance and microbiology, she aspires to play in a professional orchestra.
2018 - Benjamin Hiles, Sheboygan Falls High School
Ben impressed our scholarship committee with his poise and sincerity, and considerable talent on the saxophone. Ben is attending Lawrence University to focus on Music Education.
He says a career in music education “is the most ideal way to continue my passion in music while educating the next generation of musicians. Educators are among those who possess the capacity to alter a person’s life, so that they may achieve and change the world.”
2017 - Kade Byrand, IDEAS Academy
Kade is attending the Rhode Island School of Design with a focus in Film. He has also developed a passion for sculpture and is excited to add a 3D element to his portfolio. Kade loves attending RISD and calls it "a beating heart that never stops pumping out inspiration and motivation"
2017 - Olivia Honeck, Plymouth High School
Olivia has decided to attend UW Milwaukee - Peck School for the Arts with a major in dance. She spent the fall teaching contemporary, jazz, ballet, and pointe classes.
2017 - Mimi Viglietti, Sheboygan North High School
Mimi is currently studying drama at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
2016 - Maria Alfaro, Random Lake High School
Maria is planning to major in New Studio Practice (Fine Art) with a minor in Illustration at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. She has been inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and has had a piece of her artwork selected for the Freshman Exhibition.
2015 - Elizabeth Gartman, Sheboygan North High School
Liz attends the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She will be majoring in Vocal Performance and Music Theory/Composition. Amongst her many performances, she recently returned to the Kohler Foundation to perform at the Kohler Foundation's very own Arts at the Waelderhaus.
2015 - Katelyn Gruell, Cedar Grove-Belgium High School
Katie is attending UW-Milwaukee's Peck School of the Arts, she will receive her Bachelor of Arts in Voice with a theatre minor in May 2019. She also performed for the Arts at the Waelderhaus in 2017.
2014 - Paul Theodoroff, Sheboygan North High School
Paul graduated summa cum laude in 2016 from the Los Angeles Film School (accelerated program). He is working on a short film and creating a small production company.
2014 - Amy Zhang, Sheboygan Falls High School
Her first book of Young Adult Fiction, Falling Into Place, was published by HarperCollins in September 2014 (four months after she graduated high school). Her second book, This is Where the World Ends, has already been published.
2013 - Jacob Olmedo, IDEAS Academy
Fashion designer graduated from Parsons The New School of Design in New York; artist-in-residence at Jake's Cafe. He has given back to his community and school by taking part in the MAKER BREAK program from his alma mater, now Etude High School.